TUESDAY AUGUST 29, 2017 VOLUME 107 ISSUE 01
DEFENDING THE FIRST AMENDMENT SINCE 1911
Back to School Special Edition
Historic Harvey spares San Marcos
President awards employee of year By Ryan Kirby News Reporter @rymanman Michelle Aguilar, senior administrative assistant in the Office of Student Diversity and Inclusion, has been awarded 2017 Texas State Employee of the Year for her service on campus and in the San Marcos community. “I love helping the community,” Aguilar said. “My mother was the same way. She instilled that in us when we were little. We’ve always stuck to what she said. When someone needs a helping hand, we are there.” Aguilar’s award highlights the rising attendance of students visiting the Student Office of Diversity and Inclusion. “SDI works with everybody underrepresented: LGBTQIA people, veterans and we hustle as a team,” Aguilar said. “I think not only did I win it, but we all won the award.” Artie Rose-Hernandez, Texas State alumnus, believes this win is important for all the people protected and included in the SDI Office.
Old Main, Aug. 26 during Hurricane Harvey. San Marcos was under flash flood warnings through Sunday morning. PHOTO BY S HAYAN FARADINEH
By Shayan Faradineh News Editor @shayanfaradineh Harvey, both as a hurricane and tropical storm, canceled classes, interrupted residents' power, pushed back sorority recruitment and flooded into residence halls over the weekend. Harvey started as a tropical storm Friday and continues to cause devastation in Houston, other parts of East Texas and Louisiana. The city of San Marcos took precautionary steps to the weather by opening the emergency operations center Saturday through Monday morning. The center acted as a 24/7 staffed hotline for non-emergency disaster-related questions. After the day of heavy rainfalls, the San Marcos Activity Center opened at 11:30 p.m. for residents to take shelter. One resident and three travelers utilized the shower, bathrooms and open area rooms. Laureen Chernow, Hays County communications manager, said the center was ready for whatever course the
storm took. “We (were) prepared for all kinds of issues: downed trees, power lines, flooding and power outages,” Chernow said. Prior to landfall in Rockport, Tropical Storm Harvey evolved into a category 4 hurricane. The National Weather Service reported winds of 55 mph would hit San Marcos. Due to early weather reporting, President Denise Trauth emailed students Friday, canceling classes on Aug. 28. Texas State canceled activities begin-
ning at 5 p.m. Friday and throughout the weekend. New Student Convocation, the finale of Bobcat Preview, was canceled. San Marcos remained under flash flood warning until 4:45 a.m. Sunday. Although San Marcos didn’t flood as expected, rainfalls and high speed winds created power outages for over 500 residents in San Marcos, nearly two percent of the city’s utility customers.
PAGE 2 EMPLOYEE
Board of Regents approves 10-year growth plan
PAGE 2 UNIVERSITY
The railroad bridge at Five Mile Dam Aug. 26 during flash flood warnings. San Marcos recieved less rain than anticipated. PHOTO BY SHAYAN FARADINEH
President Denise Trauth's desk Aug. 19 during the Board of Regents quarterly meeting. PHOTO BY S HAYAN FARADINEH
Student Government launches initiative to bring free textbooks to Texas State By Shayan Faradineh News Editor @shayanfaradineh Student Body President Connor Clegg and Vice President Jackie Merritt spent the summer meeting with professors, faculty and administrators to bring open educational resources to the university. Open educational resources, OERs, are teaching and learning materials such as lectures, videos, quizzes and textbooks freely available online for students and professors. The resources are written by faculty and professors across the country. The Clegg-Merritt administration is proposing legislation in Student Government for at least 10 introductory-level courses to phase in OERs. The initiative comes from a desire to provide quality resources for Texas State students while reducing the semester-to-semester cost of academic materials. “We wanted to positively affect the most students we possibly can,” Merritt said. “OERs grant students quality resources and will save students money.” This initiative allows professors to customize their curriculums with more resources available. Faculty members will be able to use multiple platforms and combine their favorite parts of materials to create their desired curriculums. Due to the licensing of OERs, professors may pull information and tools from as many resources as they please. Students would have open access to all those resources. Magen Huntley, theater freshman, flips through a Psycology book Aug. 21 at the University Book Store. PHOTO BY HANNAH FELSKE
PAGE 3 TEXTBOOKS
By Denise Cervantes & Shayan Faradineh Editor-In-Chief & News Editor @cervantesdenise & @shayanfaradineh ALPINE— As Texas State continues to break the enrollment record for the 19th consecutive year, President Denise Trauth presented a master plan to the Texas State University System Board of Regents to address the university’s growth. The plan was unanimously approved. It provides detail of renovations and additions to the San Marcos and Round Rock campuses, as well as STAR Park. The university’s master plan seeks to develop the campus over the next 10 years. PAGE 2 BOARD
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The University Star
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Kristi Wyatt, communications director for the city of San Marcos, said the power outages were related to the fallen trees and debris effecting power lines. The wet conditions and high wind speeds lead to downed trees, and the city increased the number of tree trimming crews Monday. Due to weather conditions, the first day of sorority recruitment was canceled. The recruitment registration was extended until Aug. 30. Students living on campus experienced flooding Sunday morning. Matt Flores, university spokesperson, said custodial and maintenance staff responded to the flooding concerns in residence halls. “The most affected is College Inn,” Flores said. “Our residence life staff has been responding to work orders, and crews have been working on cleaning up and trying to eliminate leaks. In some cases, we have relocated affected students to other residence hall rooms.” Ahead of landfall, Gov. Greg Abbott request President Donald Trump to la-
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About Us History: The University Star is the student newspaper of Texas State University and is published every Tuesday of the spring and fall and one a month in the summer semesters. It is distributed on campus and throughout San Marcos at 8 a.m. on publication days with a distribution of 6,000. Printing and distribution is by the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung. Copyright: Copyright Tuesday, August 29, 2017. All copy, photographs and graphics appearing in The University Star are the exclusive property of The University Star and may not be reproduced without the expressed written consent of the editor-in-chief. Print Copies: The first five issues of each edition of the paper are free. Contact The University Star office at (512) 245-3487 to purchase additional copies. Deadlines: Letters to the Editor or any contributed articles are due on Monday the week prior to publication. Corrections: Any errors that are in the pages of The University Star and are brought to our attention will be corrected as soon as possible. Visit The Star at universitystar.com
Road closed sign knocked down by wind at Five Mile Dam Aug. 26. PHOTO BY S HAYAN FARADINEH
bel Hurricane Harvey as a major disaster declaration. The declaration would allow the Federal Emergency Management Agency to assist Texas in disaster prevention and post-storm rebuilding. The White House Press Secretary told reporters President Trump would be in Texas on Tuesday to Austin according to Austin American Statesman. Although Hurricane Harvey was
downgraded to a tropical storm, Houston has received severe flooding and rainfall. Abbott issued the full Texas National Guard in response, making the total deployment 12,000. Six fatalities have been confirmed, one in Rockport and fifteen in Houston. The effects of the storm are still unfolding.
on-campus housing, a new residence hall, Hilltop, will provide 1,025 beds. Approximately 2,000 parking spots and 200 dinning seats were presented in the plan. The Round Rock campus, an hour north of San Marcos, seeks to expand the library, add collaborative work space and build onto the Testing Center for Disability Services in the Avery Building. The expansion will ultimately result in moving majors such as physical therapy and respiratory care to the Round Rock campus. In addition to expanding the San Marcos and Round Rock campuses, the plan calls for upgrades to the Science, Technology and Advanced Research Park, located at 3055 Hunter Road. These upgrades include adding on to lab, office and work space. STAR Park is dedicated to promoting and supporting innovation, commercialization and entrepreneurship. In Nov. 2015, Texas State hired SmithGroupJJR, an architecture, engineering and planning firm, to assist in the development of the master plan. Doug Kozma presented the plan to the Board of Regents prior to approval. “We believe that Texas State has a
great path forward for the next decade,” Kozma said. Every 10 years, the university president along with his or her delegation proposes a master plan to the Board of Regents. Trauth was accompanied by Dr. Eugene Bourgeois, provost; Eric Algoe, vice president for Finance and Support Services; Kenneth Pierce, vice president for Information Technology and Dr. Joanne Smith, vice president for Student Affairs. Nancy Nusbaum, associate vice president of Finance and Support Services Planning, was another contributor to the master plan. Nusbaum has been at Texas State for three decade-long master plans, and will be the director of the innovations to come. The Texas State University System supports eight institutions by providing services such as legal counsel, accounting, audit, academic program planning, contract administration, government relations and communications services. Among Texas State, the institutions include various campuses of Lamar, Sam Houston State and Sul Ross State.
FROM FRONT BOARD Eric Algoe, vice president for Finance and Support Services, was among four vice presidents that joined Trauth to the Board of Regents meeting. Algoe said the plan was built and constructed by community input. “We depended on community input from town halls, website submissions, a committee, the mayor, the city manager, staff and faculty,” Algoe said. “It’s difficult to plan for the next decade, but this plan is a good balance between practicality and vision.” The goals of the master plan include increasing academic and research capacity, enhancing student experience and strengthening pedestrian corridors. The San Marcos and Round Rock campuses will have an accumulative increase of 1.45 million square feet. Currently in greater need of space are classrooms, teaching labs, offices, study and research spaces. Over the decade, the budget for research is to expand from $47 million to $86 million. It is projected that Texas State will host 46,274 students by 2027 compared to 38,808 in 2016. The San Marcos campus will be adding housing, parking and dining spots. The plan calls for renovating Blanco, Bexar, Sterry, Lantana and Elliot hall. Burleson, Hornsby, Arnold, Smith and Butler will be demolished and rebuilt. In addition to the renovations of current
FROM FRONT EMPLOYEE “I am so honored and proud to hear about her award for the communities represented by the SDI,” Rose-Hernandez said. The Employee of the Year award is chosen from a committee within the Division of Finance and Support Services. Nancy Nusbaum, chair of the Staff Employee Recognition Committee, has helped select candidates for nearly nineteen years. The award recognition program has been in place for nearly 30 years. Every month, the selection team comes together to review nominations coming from Texas State faculty. “In Michelle Aguilar’s case, we had a lot of information about what she does outside of her job,” Nusbaum said. “Her volunteer work made an impact on the committee.” At the end of the fiscal year, Nusbaum and the committee gather up all the Employee of the Month winners and begin the nomination for Employee of the Year. “You have to be Employee of the Month to win Employee of the Year,” Nusbaum said. The committee then submits a recommendation to President Denise Trauth with an alternate selection, and a decision from the president is made. Aguilar was surprised her off-campus service was taken into consideration. “Something that stuck with me was what the president read,” Aguilar said. “She spoke about how I help with our office program here, but how I am also linked to outside organizations, helping students and people in need. When she read about what I do outside of campus, it got to me and made me feel honored. I didn’t know anybody knew what I did outside of my daily work here.” The Employee of the Year recipient receives a monetary award and a parking space for the year, wherever they would like. Aguilar credited her fellow colleagues for her award. “I could not have achieved my successes without attributing a thank you to Dr. Sherri Benn, Dr. Stella Silva, Jonnie Wilson, Jesse Silva, Robert Garcia and Jasmin Valdez,” Aguilar said.
The University Star
Tuesday, August 29, 2017 | 3 Shayan Faradineh News Editor @shayanfaradineh
Student Advisory Board sets goals for fall semester By Denise Cervantes & Shayan Faradineh Editor-In-Chief & News Editor @cervantesdenise & @shayanfaradineh ALPINE- The Student Advisory Board serves as an advocate for student perspective to the Texas State University System Board of Regents. Members work to facilitate and represent the university’s student body in making systemwide and campus-specific decisions. The board is comprised of the Student Government president and vice president of each campus represented in the Texas State University System. Student Government President Connor Clegg and Vice President Jackie Merritt serve as the representatives for
Texas State. Merritt was unable to attend due to schedule conflicts with the Texas State Strutters. Student Government Sen. Brooklyn Boering filled in for Merritt. In addition to representing Texas State, Clegg serves as vice president of the Student Advisory Board. The board presented initiatives that each student government was proud of, then introduce two policies that each campus in the system to adopt and expand on. Texas State representatives advocated for the open educational resources initiative that student government has been working on. Open Educational Resources are teaching and learning ma-
terials such as lectures, videos, quizzes and textbooks that are freely available online for student and lecturer use. The board decided to do a system wide food drive. As a university system, Lamar, Sam Houston State, Sul Ross and Texas State Universities will be required to collect $5,000 worth of food for each university; one can is equivalent to one dollar. The food drive will run from September through December. Money raised will be donated to local food banks in each of the university’s areas. Texas State’s Student Government will be collecting cans in various locations such as The Quad and at weekly meetings. Their cans will be donated to the
Hays County Food Bank. The second policy requested each student government to come up with a plan to address campus safety due to the evolution of protest, most noticeably during the election season and most recently in Charlottesville, Virginia. Clegg and Boering said that freedom of speech is a priority of student government, as well as campus safety. Student Advisory Board meetings are simultaneous to Board of Regent meetings. The next set of meetings will take place at Sam Houston State Nov. 16 and 17.
FROM FRONT TEXTBOOKS Currently, if a lecturer wanted to use four different resources, a student might have to buy four different books. Professors, who are cost conscious, don’t generally require students to buy more than one textbook, but OERs would allow students and professors to use as many resources the course’s instructor might find necessary, for free. Clegg and Merritt have met with Gene Bourgeois, provost and vice president of academic affairs, along with Faculty Senate, Alkek Library staff and department chairs to implement open educational resources for the spring 2018 semester. The administration will be meeting with more faculty and staff throughout the fall 2017 semester. “As a representative of the students, to pay anywhere from $200 to $400 for one or two textbooks is unfair,” Clegg said. “With the cost of textbooks being the price they are, students shouldn’t have to choose whether to pay rent or buy a book.” Margarita Arellano, associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students, said this policy could be expanded on during future administrations because of the potential of
growth. “Every student government leaves a legacy,” Arellano said. “This student government’s initiative is going to help all students. Future administrations will be able to build off their work and this program has the ability to grow.” Different variations of open resources are used at Kansas State, University of Massachusetts, University of Missouri, Trinity University and Rice University. “I don’t want Texas State to lose students because universities around the state or down the road are saving students money,” Clegg said. While working on this initiative for free textbooks, the Clegg-Merritt administration is set to focus on other campus issues such as safety, sexual assault and the food industry. “As the leaders of Student Government, we work for the students,” Clegg said. “These are the types of initiatives Student Government can do. We want to impact the student body in the best possible way.” Student Government meetings are held every Monday at 7 p.m. on the fourth floor of the LBJ Student Center Teaching Theater.
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Bubble Believer graduates with promise to return
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Blowing bubbles and carrying the infamous Walter Piñata to and from the stage, Joseph Losoya, better known as the Bubble Believer, graduated with a degree in public relations on Aug. 11, 2017. Students who worried they will no longer see the Bubble Believer spreading positivity on Monday mornings may be surprised by his presence this semester, as Losoya expressed he will continue blowing bubbles and spreading encouragement. “It wouldn’t have been the same without his positivity and fun bubbles,” Tiffany Rodriguez, nutrition senior, said. “He is truly an icon at Texas State.” Losoya said he hopes to cheer on many more generations of Bobcats throughout their college journey. “I wanted to continue the Bubble Believers because of the impact it has on everybody,” Losoya said. “The positivity and bubbles help students, faculty and staff get through the se-
mester. It lets younger students visiting Texas State (know) that college is not too scary or overwhelming.” Losoya said he served in the Air Force from 2008-12 in Grand Forks, North Dakota with one six-month deployment to Afghanistan. It was there he learned the value of a positive mindset during an unhappy situation. Losoya began blowing bubbles as a fun pastime and to lift morale among his comrades. Following his time in the military, Losoya attended Palo Alto College in San Antonio to obtain his associates degree. He brought his bubbles with him and continued to spread positivity among his peers, receiving tremendous support from the student body. Soon, the Bubble Believers were born and brought to Texas State after his transfer in fall 2015. As an alumnus, Losoya hopes to continue his efforts at Texas State as well as expand his outreach to nearby universities, starting with Palo Alto and University of Texas at San Antonio. PAGE 5 BELIEVER
Four ways to locally aid Hurricane Harvey relief By Katie Burrell Lifestyle Editor @KatieNicole96 San Marcos residents suffered power outages, leaky ceilings and flash flooding due to Hurricane Harvey. South Texas cities suffered deeper wounds; some lost houses, pets and their belongings. There are ways for students and locals to help in the relief effort. Monetary Donations The Red Cross chapter of Central Texas holds a location in Austin on 2218 Pershing Dr. The Red Cross is requesting monetary donations over blood donations at the moment, but both are being accepted. Texting Harvey or Red Cross to 90999 will donate $10. Larger donations can me made online. GoFundMe has a multitude of donation options on their Hurricane Harvey tab. Contributors can choose to donate to animal relief efforts, disaster relief funds across Texas and specific funds for families requesting assistance. Country singer Chris Young has pledged $100 thousand to distaster relief via GoFundMe, and said his campaign will benefit efforts by the Red Cross and local shelters. Clothing and food For those who have more food to spare than cash, local food banks are accepting donations specifically for Harvey victims. Since the need
for food donations is great, Feeding Texas has stepped in to coordinate donations, so donations are expected to reach families quickly. Two of the closest food banks to San Marcos which may need food for hurricane relief are the Central Texas food Bank in Austin and the San Antonio Food Bank at 5200 Enrique Parkway. The San Antonio Food Bank is asking for diapers, cleaning supplies and unused clothing donations of all shapes and sizes in addition to nonperishable foods. Animal Fostering Austin Pets Alive! Is looking for monetary donations, but also for those interested in fostering animals to make room for those staying in the shelter. The shelter is located in Austin at 1156 West Cesar Chavez. Information on fostering to adopt can be found on their website. The shelter is reporting that it expects to have more pets coming in the following week as some victims are surrendering their pets as well as those who are requesting temporary housing for their animals. The San Antonio Humane Society is taking in animals and offering temporary housing for pets of those displaced and residing locally. The shelter is asking for a list of supplies, namely rubbing alcohol, puppy pads and small plastic litter boxes. These supplies can be delivered to the shelter. PAGE 7 HURRICANE
The University Star
Tuesday, August 29, 2017 | 5
Katie Burrell Lifestyle Editor @KatieNicole96
CARTOON BY STEPHANIE CLOYD FROM PAGE 4 BELIEVER “If I could be there to help students at other universities continue on the college path so they can experience some of the greatest moments of their lives, that would be great,” Losoya said. In addition to bringing Bubble Believers to more college campuses, Losoya hopes to bring student bodies and their local community together. A first step in accomplishing this goal has been Losoya’s partnership with San Marvelous, a clothing boutique in downtown San Marcos. Together, Bubble Believers and San Marvelous have cooperated in T-shirt sales and hosting events. Grateful for the opportunity to work with a local business and expand his Bubble Believers brand, Losoya hopes to further connect students to the community by potentially putting together a books and bubbles session for kids at the San Marcos Public Li-
brary or partner with one of the Mermaid Society events. “A lot of times we forget that San Marcos has a community of people that live there,” Losoya said. “It’s not really our city; they let us live in their city for two to four years and then we leave. It would be cool to try to do as much as I can to connect the student body to the actual community.” Losoya’s compassion for his peers and community has brought him to this moment in his life. Despite life’s uncertainties, he is eager to see how the Bubble Believers will grow in the years to come. His message to the world however, will always stay the same. “Smile through the good and smile through the bad,” Losoya said. “Life is always going to give us challenges and it will be tough to take them on, but as long as you stay positive, it’s going to get better. Always stay positive.”
6 | Tuesday, August 29, 2017
The University Star Katie Burrell Lifestyle Editor @KatieNicole96
How To: Career fairs are coming By Katie Burrell Lifestyle Editor @KatieNicole96
he fall brings slightly cooler weather, a new semester and opportunities for students to land career opportunities. Career Services encourages students to attend job fairs as many Bobcats in the past have gotten internship and job offers by showing up prepared and looking sharp.
Career fairs must be prepped for Sam Heimbach, career advisor, said students should dress business professional, bring a resume and research companies before attending career fairs. To assist students with prepping stress-free, Career Services has an app called TX State Career Fair+, which is available in the App Store and the Google Play Store. The app will have a detailed map of the fair, information on each company and instructions on how to dress. The app requires no log in and is free to download. “Students should be open minded. A lot of times opportunities might exist with companies you haven’t considered. Also, take your time and be patient with yourself. You have multiple hours at the career fair. Take your time and go at your own pace,” Heimbach said. Heimbach said Texas State has some of the largest collegiate career fairs in Texas, and are more frequently held than others. Heimbach also said that like all of Career Services’ offerings, the fairs are open to alumni. “We want to get Bobcats jobs, whether they are students or alumni,” Heimbach said.
Fall career fairs will be large and frequent
A Message to the Campus Community at Texas State University Delta Tau Delta International Fraternity has withdrawn the charter of its chapter at Texas State University. The chapter is no longer recognized by the Fraternity or by the university. Any individuals or group of individuals currently representing themselves as “Delta Tau Delta” or “Delts” are not authorized to do so. Delta Tau Delta International Fraternity is prepared to take any reasonable action to protect against unauthorized use of its name, logo or inference to ΔΤΔ. If you are aware of any individuals currently operating or condoning operation of a group on campus using the Delta Tau Delta name, please share this information with the Delta Tau Delta Central Office and Greek and campus community immediately. Delta Tau Delta hopes to return to Texas State University at a future date as recognized by the university, operating within the guidelines of Delta Tau Delta International Fraternity and with the support of its alumni. Delta Tau Delta International Fraternity firstname.lastname@example.org
According to Career Services’ calendar provided by Heimbach, there will be eight career fairs during the fall semester starting Sept. 20 with the All Majors Career Fair, the largest fair of the year. This fair is held in the LBJ Student Center ballroom for two days, and is highly recommended by Heimbach due to employment opportunties. Employers from all over the nation register for these fairs to specifically hire Bobcats.
Specialized career fairs The fall semester will host career fairs such as the science, technology, engineering and mathematics, mass communications and meet the firms. Each of these fairs is specialized for specific fields and majors. The meet the firms fair hosts businesses looking for future accountants, while the mass communications fair will be looking for future writers, public relations specialists and advertisers. Students of all classifications and skill levels can benefit from attending career fairs. Madison Tabersmith, career advisor, said all students can benefit from attending a fair. “When students are in their earlier stages of college, career fairs give them practice at the basic level and teach them how to speak to employers,” Tabersmith said. "It can get them ready on how to speak about themselves and get over the nervousness which is kind of an obstacle for people. We recommend students come to a career fair early on.” Students can benefit from going to career fairs during their first and second years of college because they will learn about companies they may want to work with in the future. Juniors and seniors can benefit from attending careers fairs as they will earn the opportunity to network with recruiters, search for internships and even get interviewed right after in some cases.
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The University Star
Tuesday, August 29, 2017 | 7 Katie Burrell Lifestyle Editor @KatieNicole96
Alumnus takes Texas State through the Middle-East via Snapchat By Katie Burrell Lifestyle Editor @KatieNicole96
COURTESY PHOTO FROM KURO TAWIL
One of Texas State’s most notable alumnus graduated in 2013 and has been changing the lives of women across the globe since. This summer, Texas State’s Snapchat story featured Kuro Tawil's adventures across countries including Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan as part of a challenging cross-continent race. This summer, Tawil took over Texas State’s Snapchat account to detail his adventures in the Middle-East while riding around in a little blue Toyota. The Toyota suffered break downs, dust and miles of traveling. Tawil and his partner made their way from England, through Asia and across the middle-east as part of the Mongol Rally. The Mongol Rally takes place during the summer as it has for 11 years. Participants are required to travel by car or motor bike. However, these vehicles must meet certain criteria. According to the website, these vehicles must be old, small and in worn-out shape so racers get the full nomad effect. In addition to the pride racers gain from overcoming breakdowns, language barriers and traveling thousands of miles across foreign lands, each team must raise money for charity through their travels at a minimum of 1,000 euros. Half of which goes to the rally’s preferred charity, Cool Earth. Tawil graduated in 2013 with a communications degree. Upon graduation Tawil journeyed to Pakistan and India with the intention to “discover his limits” before determining his next step
in life. Upon completing his whirlwind journey abroad, he found his calling. Tawil now owns Kuros!, a company devoted to providing women in particularly dangerous regions of the planet with pepper spray. The spray is fitted in bright blue bottles and is dispersed by women’s groups in other countries. Social media coordinator for the University Marketing department at Texas State, Vanessa Villescas, said she was approached by Tawil before he started the rally. Villescas said he was interested in inspiring students and to show them what Texas State alumni are up to. “We get at least 10-20 responses from each story he posts with students applauding him and saying they want to get involved," Villescas said. "They have a lot of questions." Tawil has updated the Texas State Snapchat story every time he connects to Wi-Fi. His stories tell the history of wherever he is, an update on the day’s struggle and photos of faraway sights. Tawil said many of the teams who started the race have quit or have wrecked their cars, but he and his team ,A Fighting Chance, are set to complete the race by Sept. 6. “We’ve made it 8,000 miles so far, crossing Europe, Turkey, Turkmensitan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and the GBAO region along the border of Afghanistan,” Tawil said in a statement. Tawil and his partner named their group A fighting Chance as it is the company’s motto to give women a fighting chance against domestic abuse, violence and sexual assault.
Dorm makeover garners national attention By Erika Conover Lifestyle Reporter @airwreckaaa_17 Two freshman collaborated to design and create a one-of-a-kind dorm design in Sterry Hall which now smells of apple-cinnamon wax warmer and is covered in in fluffy white and grey decor. The transformation has garnered media attention across Texas and the United States over the past week. Freshmen Skylar Bantz’s and Adeline Vela refer to their new set up as their “home away from home”. The 16’ x 16’ dorm room was redone by a team of eight people. In ten hours, the traditional style room was transformed into a lavish home, with matching items on each side and removable paper on the walls looking like grey brick. “We thought it would just make it look better,” Bantz said. “The walls before were off-white, and there were tons of holes and paint chips in them, but luckily the wallpaper is just a sticker so it will come off super easily.” Bantz and Vela met each other from a group chat two months ago, and started planning after meeting for the first time. The two also discovered they had the same birthday and have been a team since. “We’re basically like the same person, and it's kind of weird,” Bantz said. “People always ask us if we knew each other before.” The roommates said they split up who bought what, and each person would buy certain things in sets of two, so the room matched. Vela’s mother also made some of the items, including large pillows and curtains. “I figured the room would be really, really cute but I didn’t think it would turn out so perfect,” Vela said. “We managed to fit everything we needed to in our dorm. It’s pretty small but I think we used our space well.” The estimated total accumulated to $1,200 on each side, which, for Bantz, was split among several people, including herself, her mom, dad and stepdad. “To me, the total sounds like a lot, but spread amongst all the people, I can understand how it adds up,” Bantz said. Several students have stopped by to admire the room, including Bantz’s friend Stormy Brooks, who said she would not have thought to cover the desks and walls with
COURTESY PHOTO FROM SKYLAR BANTZ
decorative paper and admired the girls’ creativity. Bantz has a YouTube channel called Proofisinthepretty, and recorded a dorm haul video featuring several of the items displayed in the room, but said she was unable to record the movein experience. “I really wanted to vlog it, but I couldn’t find my camera. I lost it in all of the stuff and then I found it after we were done,” Bantz said. “But I’ll do a dorm tour once the couch comes in.” Bantz and Vela have a no-shoe policy because of a white shag carpet at the front of the room, but friend Daniel Allen said it is the one thing he does not like.
FROM PAGE 4 HURRICANE Blood Some blood centers along the coast have been closed due to the tropical storm’s damaging winds and water. For those injured in the storm, it is still necessary to receive blood donations. Blood can be donated at the local Red Cross location in Austin at 2218
Pershing Drive. Additionally, the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center is accepting appointments to specifically donate to Harvey relief. Donators can call (210) 731-5590 or make their appointment as locally as possible by going online and choosing the nearest center at donatingforlife.org.
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LEARN MORE. BE MORE. Graduate Education at Texas St ate — gradcollege.t xst ate.edu Graduate Information Sessions gradcollege.txstate.edu/events/info September 14, LBJ Student Center Ninth Annual International Research Conference for Graduate Students gradcollege.txstate.edu/events/conference November 7-8, LBJ Student Center
As an Emerging Research University, Texas State provides world-class graduate education. The university’s 91 master’s and 13 doctoral programs afford students of exceptional academic ability many opportunities to continue their intellectual growth and achieve higher career goals. Texas State University is a tobacco-free campus. Texas State University, to the extent not in conflict with federal or state law, prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex, religion, disability, veterans’ status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. This information is available in alternate format upon request from the Office of Disability Services. 17-483 6-17
10 | Tuesday, August 29, 2017
The University Star May Olvera Opinions Editor @yungfollowill
Read local: Community papers best equipped for disaster coverage In 2005 Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, took nearly 2,000 lives and displaced more than a million people in the Gulf Coast region. The national press had the responsibility of mobilizing the country for assistance and highlighting the objective realities of such a catastrophic event. However, New Orleanians were met with a terrible miscarriage of justice at the hands of reporters who, in their hunt for ratings, misrepresented the communities that were impacted most. Katrina was a tragedy that undoubtedly shaped who we are today as aspiring journalists and taught us, the people best equipped to report on disasters with sensitivity are the people
who know the affected areas best. Exactly twelve years later, another natural disaster has arrived on our state’s doorstep and left communities we care deeply about in anguish. As Harvey approached our shores, newsrooms all across Texas quickly organized to get reporters on the ground and keep people safe and informed every step of the way—ours, being one of San Marcos central news sources, was no different. In the days prior to Hurricane Harvey, our editorial board knew we would inevitably be faced with the harsh realities that come with such calamities. We have the immediate responsibility to serve our community with the care and respect that it
deserves. Although in the current state of the world “local” seems obsolete, Harvey has reminded us that there are few things more important than serving our immediate communities. From breaking news out of city council to telling the eclectic stories hidden throughout San Marcos, we have the honor and the privilege to deliver the city’s daily happenings to each and every member of the community, and to do so earnestly. We are proud to have reported throughout the storm with diligence and fervor. However, when the skies clear, our moral duty extends from our own streets to those that were not as
fortunate. As we continue to address Harvey’s effects on San Marcos, we also want to extend a hand to the areas that were heavily impacted by the hurricane and follow the lead of their own local papers who are best equipped to facilitate information for communities that are also home to many of our readers. As journalists, our only priority and biggest responsibility in these situations will always be to keep our readers safe and informed by reporting with absolute accuracy and timeliness. There is a certain danger in journalism, and we must be ready and willing to risk our own security for the safety of the people we serve.
The Main Point is the opinion of the newspaper’s editorial board. Columns are the opinions of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the full staff, Texas State University Student Media, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication or Texas State University.
We need more black professors at Texas State
College is a testament to the success of school choice By Nellie Perry Opinions Columnist @nellie_perry
ILLUSTRATION BY BRYSON WILLIAMS
By Carrington Tatum Opinions Columnist @th3unt0uchable The evident lack of black professors on campus is a problem that affects everyone. There are more reasons to pay large sums of money to attend a university beyond a paper diploma facilitating your path into the career you desire. Besides the memories and life-long friends, you should want to leave a university as an intellectual with an ability to move through the world on a level of effectiveness. In a country rapidly growing in diversity, it will help to be thoroughly cosmopolitan. While Texas State’s population of black students is the third largest demographic on campus with 4,144 individuals, the number of black faculty sits as the fourth largest with only 270 black professors, as of fall 2016. There is a clear disparity in the availability of diverse cultures on campus, which is also representative of Texas State’s ability to graduate students with the cultural tools necessary to be effective in all environ-
ments of the world. This issue becomes increasingly important when you take a look at the population of black students who could benefit from the mentorship provided by faculty members of the same race and ethnicity. If the least we can ask of our faculty’s demographics is to be proportional to the students, then it stands that white students are overrepresented in faculty by 15 percent while black and Hispanic students are underrepresented by a combined 18 percent. There are even more Asian professors on campus than black professors even though black students outnumber them by 8 percent or 3,247 students. Education plays a powerful role in an individual’s actualization. As any good educator knows, there is more to educating someone than simply throwing information at them. Students need to be able to seek the guidance of someone with whom they can relate to, and it is an injustice if only white students have access to that privilege at Texas State.
We’re all students here at Texas State because we applied, were accepted and somehow found the means to afford attending. We chose this college for various different reasons. However, there was no requirement stating we had to live within a certain proximity to the campus to do so. We were fortunate to choose what college we wished to attend. Young students in primary and secondary schools, with the guidance of their parents, should be allotted the same choice. If a family cannot afford to buy a home in an area with a great school district, but is willing to provide the means for their child to get a good education, we should support their choice wholeheartedly. Critics of school choice argue too many teachers would lose their jobs when students no longer choose to attend some schools. To this I say – what are the teachers doing wrong to make the school worth leaving? There is a popular idea that teachers in schools with low ratings are valiant because they understand at least the kids they teach are in school
PAGE 11 DIVERSITY
rather than being involved in gang violence or at home influenced by parents, who often do not provide the best role models. These teachers refuse to give consequences for violent behavior in order to keep students in school where there is at least a positive influence. Unfortunately, this logic does more harm than good. Even with the best of intentions, leniency surrounding violent students tends to create a negative environment of fear for their peers who are there to learn and put in the necessary work to pull themselves out of whatever situation they find themselves in. In fact, some teachers hoping to make a difference in their students’ lives have to leave these schools because they no longer feel safe. Some parents would rather have peace of mind in knowing their child goes to a school that will not tolerate violent behavior and shapes them into individuals who work for their grades and respect others. If a person wants to take their child to a school that will provide discipline and provide a good education, we should absolutely support their decision. PAGE 11 SCHOOL
ILLUSTRATION BY FLOR BARAJAS
Texas State lacks cultural infrastructure necessary for student success By Tafari Robertson Opinions columnist @blacboijoi I was a freshman at Texas State when protests broke out in Ferguson, MO over the murder of Michael Brown and Baltimore erupted on live television after police killed Freddie Gray the following spring. As many college students around the country flocked to designated cultural spaces to organize and find support, I felt isolated by the predominantly white peers who casually filled my dorm lobby, classes and work-study job with no spatial refuge to process what was happening with other students of color. Now a senior having studied through domestic terror attacks on Muslim communities, immigration raids targeting Latinx families, continued police brutality and Trump’s ascent to presidency, I recognize something has remained consistently absent at Texas State. Despite its diverse array of cultural student organizations and annual events, the higher administration of Texas State has yet to establish some of the most basic institutional resources to support marginalized student populations. Since 2012, Texas State Univer-
sity has been designated an emerging research university alongside schools such as University of North Texas, University of Texas at San Antonio, Texas Tech and University of Houston among others. However, Texas State is the only school out of these proclaimed peer institutions that still lacks institutionally reinforced academic or social spaces such as specialized cultural centers or any form of black or Latino Studies. It is worth noting despite multiple instances of fliers posted on campus explicitly calling for violence against marginalized communities and the albeit temporary resignation of activity by the Muslim Students Association after it became apparent that campus was no longer safe for them, Texas State’s higher administration has chosen to treat these issues as anomalies. Akin to instances of sexual assault, our university maintains no online portal for reporting racially motivated or otherwise hateful incidents besides the police, an organization not exactly known for its active response to issues of social justice, turning a blind eye to the realities many students face alone. In recent years, some students have taken the lead in demanding our administration do better. Student
activist organizations such as SCOPE, PAAC, and BLMSM, however successful, expose a fundamental flaw in the development of Texas State. It is regularly left up to students to organize and demand basic educational needs be met while balancing the pressures of class, work and a social life. Let us not forget the work student activists do is usually free labor that benefits the university as a whole. This is an unfair and unhealthy dynamic for students, but an unfortunate reality of Texas State. It is better to learn early on if you want cultural support at Texas State, it will likely only come from the interpersonal work you put into finding students who share your experiences. Furthermore, the organizational support you find has been crafted through the resilience and resourcefulness of student initiatives in the face of an ever-apathetic institution. But perhaps apathy is the wrong term. A public university of Texas State’s caliber that has made it to 2017 without providing so much as the bare minimum of services for marginalized students is past the threshold of apathy. Rather, it is a clear and active silence that allows the success and safety of marginalized students to fall behind the financial goals of the higher ad-
ILLUSTRATION BY ISRAEL GONZALEZ
ministration. When Texas State drags its feet in response to student calls for institutional support, they signal to an invaluable portion of the student population it would rather leave marginalized students to face their unique issues in dangerous isolation than address the lack of cultural infrastructure with the urgency and respect it deserves. - Tafari Robertson is a public relations senior
The University Star
Tuesday, August 29, 2017 | 11 May Olvera Opinions Editor @yungfollowill
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR By Denise Cervantes Editor-in-Chief @cervantesdenise As we enter the school year, I want to remind our readers of The University Star’s mission to celebrate accomplishments as well as expose the social injustice in our society as we strive to build a better and accepting community. We find ourselves in a society that seems overtaken by bigotry and hate. Only two weeks ago, a group of white
supremacists brought storm to the city of Charlottesville, Virginia. With torches held high, one woman was killed and many others were injured. Recently, our own city of San Marcos has faced struggles. Citizens urged city council representatives to take a stance on one of the most controversial anti-immigrant bills which was introduced to the Texas Senate earlier this year. City council members released a statement reinforcing their idea that Senate Bill 4, otherwise known as
the “sanctuary city bill,” remained an issue out of their jurisdiction; meanwhile, members of the San Marcos community would be affected. After receiving major backlash for their decision, council announced it would file an amicus brief in disagreement with the bill only a little over a week before the measure would go into effect on Sept. 1. The Star will not be afraid to use this platform to tell difficult stories, and shed light on corruption present within our own city. As the fourth
estate, we have a responsibility to hold our leaders accountable to their actions as they serve to represent the community. Moving forward, I want our readers to know The Star will be providing transparency in all of our reporting and serving the students of Texas State and the residents of San Marcos while continuing to have a spine as a publication.
Investing in education truly makes America great By U.S. Congressman Lloyd Doggett Whether you are learning your way around the campus or embracing your last year, I have always known Bobcats to lead, engage with our community and take on new challenges. That was very clear from the turnout at Bobcat Build this year. It was great to join you again in the spring and I applaud all the volunteers who came out to protect our beautiful treasures, such as Aquarena Springs, paint homes and further serve our San Marcos community. As the next generation of leaders, your commitment to civic involvement is critical. We face tough challenges from those who do not support federal aid for public schools and those who oppose adequate student aid for higher education. I believe an investment in your education is an investment in America’s future. EARNING A DEGREE: Higher education offers a high return on every dollar of federal investment. So many social ills are linked with one’s ability—or lack thereof— to earn a college degree, such as poverty, difficulty ac-
cessing affordable housing and finding a career that offers professional advancement. Texas State, which attracts students from around the world, also prepares students to compete globally. RESISTING EDUCATION CUTS: For students willing to work hard to obtain higher education, we must be willing to do the hard work of making it more affordable. Yet the president has proposed a $9.2 billion spending cut to education. That move, among his other budget cuts, will hurt the federal government’s ability to subsidize interest on student loans, thereby adding thousands of dollars to the already exorbitant cost of college. His budget would also harm special education students. It is estimated that school districts receive about $4 billion in Medicaid reimbursements annually—funding that helps pay for health care professionals who serve special education students. The Trump budget would put that funding in jeopardy. I will persist and resist budget cuts to critical funding for education, Pre-K through higher education. Here in the Lone Star State, we cannot afford to leave Texas students alone.
MAKING PROGRESS: In order to make college more affordable for families, I have supported legislation to limit interest rates on federal loans and to provide more student Pell Grants. I also authored provisions in the American Opportunity Tax Credit, allowing a tax cut of up to $10,000 on education expenses such as tuition, textbooks and fees. Despite this progress, many students and their parents are too discouraged by the price tag of college to even apply. And for many that do apply, they find the Free Application for Federal Student Aid too complicated to complete. This means they can lose access to available aid for which they qualify, and can mean the difference between attending a college of choice and attending college at all. To lower financial barriers, I have introduced the Equitable Student Aid Access Act. This makes the FAFSA available earlier, makes more students eligible for the full Pell Grant amount, and enables qualifying students to answer fewer questions to complete the already complicated form. GET INVOLVED. I look forward
to re-joining you in just a few days when I will speak at your new student convocation for the 6,000 incoming students this year. It is always great to be back in the company of inspired and hardworking Bobcats. Throughout your time at Texas State, I encourage you to remain engaged on campus and in the community and to share your stories on accessing higher education. I also encourage students to get involved as interns in my San Antonio, Austin or Washington, D.C. offices. I am happy to have a current Texas State student interning in my Austin office this fall. If you want to help me serve our community, please email your cover letter, short writing sample, three references and resume to Lloyd.Doggett@mail. house.gov. As you settle into your classrooms this year, I too will be hard at work, ensuring your priorities are my priorities. I welcome your good counsel. - Congressman Doggett represents Texas’s 35th Congressional district, which includes much of San Marcos.
FROM PAGE 10 SCHOOL We do have charter schools which help students in similar ways, but why should a parent have to pay extra money and put their child on a waiting list to make sure they get a proper education? Why should families without the financial means to live in a better school district be forced to have lesser education programs? The answer is simple – they should not. We at the collegiate level have been fortunate enough to choose which college was right for us. Imagine a world where we, alongside our parents, decide which primary and secondary schools best fit our needs. I call on readers to understand how beneficial school choice is, how liberating it is and how, as a society who fights for the freedom and right of choice, we should not allow the government to tell us we cannot let our children FROM PAGE 10 DIVERSITY Black students are missing out on a facet of quality education by not having this key component. Being taught by your demographic opposite in every course does not always create the best channel of learning. Even in primary education we can see this to be true as black and Hispanic children are more likely to be suspended than their white classmates. We can accredit this to the cultural disconnect that arises from black kids being taught by primarily white women who make up most of the teaching force. However, our white faculty and Bobcats remain an important piece of the diverse culture we should want to construct on our campus. Rather than push our white faculty out to make room for black professors, the Texas State Administration can work with student-led organizations like the Pan African Action Committee, which has been leading a campaign for a black studies program at Texas State. Therefore, Bobcats and Texas State’s Administration need to make a serious effort to make the demographics of university’s faculty reflect the demographics of the student body. By doing so, we not only create a more comprehensive college experience for African-American Bobcats, but we also make our school one that outputs culturally cognizant and effective members of society into the world. We only stand to stunt our own intellectual growth by resisting diversity on our campus. Addressing the demographics of our faculty just adds another example of why Bobcats are one step ahead of any other student body in Texas. - Carrington Tatum is an electronic media sophomore
attend better schools because they do not live in the right zip code.
-Nellie Perry is a journalism sophomore
12 | Tuesday, August 29, 2017
The University Star Lisette Lopez Sports Editor @lisette_1023
Bryan London II: Ready for round three During his first year back on the field, London not only impressed everyone with the statistics he made, but he also proved how powerful his mental abilities were after the Bobcats had an even worse season than the one prior— going 2-10. “My greatest accomplishment last season was just being able to finish and staying positive throughout the whole year,” London said. “When you win two games, it’s hard to go out there every day and every game to give it your best effort, so it was good that I did.” While many admired the resume of his football career accomplishments in just one season, London continued to stay level-headed and have the mindset of growing even more each and every day. “You have to give up a lot of time just to be good,” London said. “To be great, you have to give up even more time. Knowing where I want to be in life, I just have to think of the bigger picture.”
As the 2017 season quickly approaches and with the first kickoff just around the corner, London believes with a new season comes new opportunities. “For the upcoming season, I’m most looking forward to just getting the chance to go out there and erase that 2-10 record from last year,” London said. “Just being able to put a better foot forward this year.” London also admits that the team is working better together to strive toward making this season the best one yet. “Personally, I’m just working on myself and working on being a leader,” London said. “Just as a team, I feel like we’re working on comradery—just like a bond and not taking offense when someone calls you out. There’s a lot more accountability on the team.” PAGE 13 FOOTBALL
STAR FILE PHOTO
By Brooke Phillips Assistant Sports Editor @brookephillips_ Going from sitting on the sidelines for an entire season to starting every game the next, Bryan London II, junior linebacker, is back with determination for yet another year. London has been playing football his entire life, so having to start the season by sitting out as a redshirt was not easy for him. “My parents picked me up a lot of the time,” London said. “It was just hard redshirting, and I was just down on myself. My parents definitely kept me up.” During his freshman year as a redshirt, the Bobcats did not have the successful season that both the team and London had hoped for. “I’ve learned how much I love football,” London said. “That redshirt year was hard, not playing. We went 3-9 that
year; and I just thought I wasn’t good enough to help the team out. That kind of hurt me, but made me work on myself more.” Working on himself is exactly what London did, and before he knew it, after a season of sitting out, he finally had his time to make a mark on the field. London started in his first game at the beginning of the 2016 season, and would go to start in every game. After just one season, London was ranked third in the nation with 11.8 tackles and 6.9 solo tackles per game, led the Sun Belt Conference in solo tackles, recorded a career-best 19 tackles and forced a total of two fumbles. “Something that I felt I did good last season was just doing what the coaches told me and making the plays I was supposed to make,” London said. “Last year, everyone thinks I did something special, but I just did what I was supposed to do.”
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The University Star
Tuesday, August 29, 2017 | 13 Lisette Lopez Sports Editor @lisette_1023
FROM PAGE 12 FOOTBALL London’s team goals go beyond a better season record. “As a team goal, I want to win more,” London said. “Not necessarily a win, but there’s a jump that has to take place. You’re not just going from 2-10 to 120, but just people doing more of the right things.” Along with the team on his mind, London wants to further his personal game as well. “A personal goal, I just want to make more plays,” London said. “Everyone talks about the tackles I made, but I want to make bigger smash plays for my teammates.” London’s personal goals are not only being reached by what he is striving to put on the field, but a large part of it
comes from what happens off the field for him. “Little things that I do now more is just take care of my body,” London said. “I’m always in the training room—stretching, rolling, ice baths and just doing a lot more film studying and stuff like that.” Although the season has not quite begun and the future of the Bobcats cannot be predicted, London’s optimism stems from a piece of advice he once received. “Coach McCray always tells us to have the best day of your life today,” London said. “I just take that like when you put your feet on the ground, just attack that day every day and try to be better today than you were yesterday.”
“My greatest accomplishment last season was just being able to finish and staying positive throughout the whole year.” -Bryan London II, junior linebacker
Bobcats look to have a better season By Anthony Flores Sports Reporter @BornToRun_19 With fall right around the corner, the 2017 Texas State football team looks to get back out on the field this season. The Bobcats finished the 2016 season 2-10. The first of the Bobcat wins came early in the season in an 56-54 OT showdown with Ohio and the second, two weeks later in a 48-17 blowout win against Incarnate Word. Texas State’s victory over the Cardinals would be their last as they proceeded to go on an eight-game losing streak to close out the 2016 season. Each of the Bobcat’s 10 losses in 2016 were by double digits, the worst being a 64-3 loss in their biggest game against the 2016 No. 6 ranked team — the Houston Cougars. Texas State was 8-0 in Sun Belt Conference play, getting outscored a combined total of 316-113 against confer-
ence opponents. In his second year as head coach, Withers looks to make a big improvement in their overall running game, and believes the key to success for the Bobcats isn’t a change in style, but an improvement in execution of plays. In a show of commitment to improving their run game, Texas State hired former Rutgers running back coach Zak Kuhr this offseason. Kuhr, like coach Withers, coached at James Madison before taking a job with Rutgers last season. Kuhr helped Rutgers finish in the top 10 in all-purpose yards in the Big 10 Conference. Texas State opens its season Sept. 2 at Bobcat Stadium, hosting the Houston Baptist Huskies then travels to Boulder, Colorado Sept. 9 to take on the Colorado Buffaloes. The Bobcats then host two back-toback home games, the first on Family Weekend against Appalachian State and the second against UTSA on Sept. 23 in the I-35 showdown.
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The final seven games of the season will see the Bobcats take on their fellow Sun Belt Conference competitors,
starting with Louisiana-Monroe Oct. 7 at Bobcat Stadium.
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The University Star Lisette Lopez Sports Editor @lisette_1023
Player named on Rimington watchlist By Lisette Lopez Sports Editor @Lisette_1023 Despite a rough end to the 2016 season, Aaron Brewer, sophomore center for the Texas State football team, has continued to prove what he’s made of. Brewer was named to the 2017 Rimington Trophy Preseason Watch List in July after a strong finish as a freshman. The athlete played in 12 games, making 11 starts on the offensive line in his freshman season. He collected 54 knockouts as a part of the starting offensive line at left guard. Brewer said he wasn’t too worried about making the watch list, but it was still an honor to be named. “I was speechless when it happened,” Brewer said. “But at the end of the day, it’s just a watch list—nothing is secured yet.” Brewer said he doesn’t feel any added pressure after being named on the list because his mother always reminds him to stay humble. “She said she was proud of me, and to just keep pushing,” Brewer said. “She told me to keep working and to finish strong—to keep my mind straight, to be brave and blessed, but to thank God for everything that I have been blessed with.” Playing football wasn’t always part of Brewer’s life. If it wasn’t for his older cousin, he would not have found the passion for the sport he’s come to love. Brewer said his parents didn’t
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play sports growing up, so when his older cousin began playing on a little league team, he joined too. “So because my cousin started playing, I did too,” Brewer said. “I wanted
to do what he was doing because he was my older cousin. Once I started playing with him, I just continued doing it. My love for it just grew over time.” Brewer is the only one in the family
to play football at a higher level, and the decision to choose a school to further his athletic career was a tough one. PAGE 16 FEATURE
Withers goes into new season hopeful By Melea Polk Sports Reporter @meleadenae
After signing the Sun Belt Conference’s top recruiting class, Texas State’s head football coach Everett Withers is ready to kick off his second season with the Bobcats. After weeks of practices, workshops, and team meetings, Wither’s view of his
team is completely different than his first year in San Marcos. “Last year we tried to teach what our Texas State culture is all about and try to get them to understand what we were trying to do, and they didn’t get it,” Withers said. “Now I think our guys are getting it, and really understand what we are trying to get them to do.” The Texas State culture is a term coined by the football coaches that has
three important components: the uncommon commitment to each other, strength of the unit and owning your job as a student athlete on and off the field. “Our freshmen are really beginning to absorb it now, and it has been going really well thus far,” Withers said. With very few seniors on the team, leadership was spread thin, but held strong. Because there are so many new players on the team, they needed some-
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one to look up to who has been on the field and understands what Texas State expects out of them. “There is a good group of guys that have been around us and know what our expectations and standards are,” Withers said. “I think it has been really good to have some of the guys from last year to help the young guys because we have a lot of them.”
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PAGE 15 SEASON
The University Star
Tuesday, August 29, 2017 | 15 Lisette Lopez Sports Editor @lisette_1023
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FROM PAGE 14 SEASON Over the summer practice sessions, some recruits have used this time to show why they were a part of the Sun Belt Conference’s No. 1 recruiting class. Adding depth to the quarterback lineup, true freshman Willie Jones III from Beaumont, and true freshman Jaylen Gipson from Mexia, have proved why they should be a top contender for the starting position. “Willie Jones has done a really good job in camp these last three weeks, and Jaylen Gipson had a great three weeks at camp as well,” Withers said. Mississippi State University transfer Damien Williams is also a contender for the quarterback position. Williams played in the Maroon and Gold Spring Football Game as the starting quarterback for the gold team. “It is still fluid and we still have about a week before we know who our starter is, but I feel really good about the depth at quarterback right now,” Withers said. “Williams can do a lot that the freshmen haven’t quite learned yet. So now we just have to go in and find the right man and get him ready to play in the game.” On the defensive side, Trinity Valley Community College transfer Sami Awad is someone coach Withers feels will make a big impact this upcoming season. The McKinney native has quickly learned what is expected out of him, and has the potential to be a big asset to the Bobcat defense.
“There is a good group of guys that have been around us and know what our expectations and standards are. ”
-Coach Withers “I think Sami Awad is a guy that has not been with us all summer long, and now three weeks in, he is understanding what we are asking,” Withers said. “I think once he gets accustomed to the scheme he learned three weeks ago, he will be a guy that is a big part of our defense.” Texas State opens the 2017 season against Houston Baptist at Bobcat Stadium on Sept. 2. The game is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. and will be broadcasted on ESPN3.
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FROM PAGE 14 FEATURE
The Bobcat was committed to playing for Sam Houston State University. However, right before signing day, he visited Texas State. “It was a really tough decision debating on where I was going to go,” Brewer said. “I wanted to go somewhere where I felt comfortable, and after visiting Texas State, I felt like I could see myself living there for four years.” Brewer said there were many factors taken into consideration, but it ultimately came down to the academics that would help him grow in his field. Transitioning from a senior in high school to a freshman in college is a challenge for everyone. However, transitioning from playing football at the high school level to the collegiate level was more challenging for Brewer. “It was a tough transition at first because there are two different environments coming from high school to college,” Brewer said. “It came to me after a while, and once we got into the season a little bit, it became a little easier.” As a freshman, Brewer was already
proving himself as an athlete. He has numerous accolades under his belt, and hasn’t stopped pushing to be the best. Brewer said he has grown in his one year at Texas State, and won’t be slowing down any time soon. “I just want to outdo what I did last season,” Brewer said. “Go harder, work harder and just be the best in my position. I want to be the best nationally and in Texas, but just overall the best in my position. That’s what’s going to keep me driving to do better this season.” To get ready for a game, the team all does the same thing: they eat together, play games, strategize and pray as a team. Brewer said being together as a team before a game is helpful, but he has his own way of getting ready to leave his all on the field. “I try to eliminate all distractions and focus on what I have to do that day, what my job is,” Brewer said. “I need to zero down on no mistakes, and stay focused.”
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